This piece from WaPo, “Brows, Contour, Lips, Lashes: How the ‘full-beat face’ took over the Internet,” by Lavanya Ramanathan, is fascinating! Read it for the videos, which are aMAZing!!!
I don’t take a position one way or another about the Full Beat Face, but I am really happy to have this cultural analysis of it. Undoubtedly, at some very indirect level, mediated through my teenage daughter, it’s also behind my impulse to start #MakeupMonday.
“The full-beat face has become the ubiquitous face of the Internet, a strange mirror of Kim Kardashian’s visage but also somehow just like Internet influencer Huda Kattan’s and Kylie Jenner’s, too.
Instagram is awash in full-beat glory. The indie makeup brand ColourPop regularly shares gauzy selfies of young women wearing their popular matte lipsticks, fingers seductively held up to their mouths. Save for variations in skin color and precise shade of shimmering eye shadow, the women all look uncannily the same.
It’s the “Instagram look,” says Christen Irias, another Los Angeles-based makeup artist and YouTube star better known to her fans as Christen Dominique. “When you take a picture, you lose the dimension on your face. The light will wash it away.” Over time, savvy ’Grammers realized that with a small mountain of makeup — a Patrick Starrr or NikkieTutorials video will regularly feature as many as 20 products — you could replace the shadows and the light and then some.
Dominique, who refers to the face as “full glam,” ticks off what it requires: “an elongated eye, lashes, contouring, bronzing, highlighting and sculpting,” she says. A theatrical set of drawn-on brows. And finally, it almost always features a matte lip so overdrawn that it can look like an allergic reaction, if not a syringe full of Juvéderm.
Dominique, Simondac and other YouTube makeup artists have made minor fortunes posting makeup tutorials. Just one of Dominique’s “full glam” lessons has 11 million views.
So now, it’s likely that even you have seen the face, maybe in your very own home, where your teenage daughters (or sons) lately are lingering too long in front of the bathroom mirror, “bouncing” foundation onto their crease-less cheeks, “baking” banana-colored powder under their eyes, penciling in tiny hair marks above their eyes so carefully that when they’re done, their eyebrows are creations on a par with van Gogh’s “The Starry Night.”
“It’s extreme in person,” acknowledges Dominique. “But it looks great in pictures.”
And the pictures, of course, are what so much of modern life is about.”
The piece goes on, ”
“None of this accounts for why makeup, and simply watching it being applied, has become the favorite pastime of a generation of young women and men.
What does explain it is our increasing obsession with representations of ourselves in the online world.”